The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dan recovers Mayor's press release taken down from website


Screenshot of mayor's press release on city's website
before being removed without warning (Courtesy of Councilor Rebecca Williams).
After Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs got called out yesterday by Councilor Williams (see here) and Olddoc (see here) for using the city's website to post a press release on a ruling in the matter between herself and the Council that is now in the courts, the press release mysteriously disappeared from the front page of the website.

As fate would have it, I had opened the document in Adobe Reader and saved a complete copy of it, including authorship and time of composition, which is available online (here) and at the end of this post below.


There are several issues to note with regard to the press release:

THE MAYOR'S PERSONAL BUSINESS
Mayor Robinson-Briggs has sued the Council, alleging her constitutional right to confront her accuser(s) was violated in the matter of the Council's investigation into how $20,000 was allocated from city funds to pay for the broadcast of a community forum on WBLS in August 2010. And further that the $200 fine imposed (as allowed for by the city's special charter) denied her her constitutional right to due process.

Notwithstanding her complaint, it is totally inappropriate of Mayor Robinson-Briggs to use a city employee, Terry West, to prepare the press release and issue it on his official stationery. It is simply one more in a string of the Mayor's lapses in being able to distinguish between herself and her role as an elected official (a modern-day incarnation of 'L'√Čtat c'est moi').

It does not speak well of Mr. West that he allowed himself to be abused in this matter; it is no secret that the lawsuit is her personal business, as has been discussed openly in Council meetings and Mayor Robinson-Briggs is looking to recover her personal outlays in the matter. The very first thing a public information officer should be is well-informed about matters on which he stakes his reputation as a professional. Grade West and Robinson-Briggs both 'F' on this one.
FACTS MISSTATED
Further, the press release misstates the facts.

Mayor Robinson-Briggs has sued the Council; that matter is still going forward and has yet to be heard.

The Council asked the court to dismiss Her Honor's lawsuit, citing the city's special charter as authorizing its investigation, its reprimand and the imposition of the $200 fine allowed by the charter.

We already knew that the court was going to rule against the fine -- as I had discussed in a prior post (see here) -- on the basis that the city's special charter does not provide any mechanism for enforcement of a fine.

Mayor Robinson-Briggs' press release is in response to that expected ruling. Unfortunately, neither Robinson-Briggs nor PIO West saw fit to post the entire text of Judge Cassidy's ruling online, but I am willing to bet that the judge ruled on the narrow technical grounds that there is no enforcement mechanism.

The matters of substance are expected to be addressed when the mayor's lawsuit is (eventually) heard. Meanwhile, the Council underscored its corrected understanding of the situation earlier this month by rescinding the original resolution (with the fine) and adopting another resolution reaffirming its reprimand of Mayor Robinson-Briggs but dropping the fine.

Without access to Judge Cassidy's ruling, there is no way to verify Mayor Robinson-Briggs' claim that the judge 'recognizes' her rights have been 'violated'. It will be interesting to watch the Mayor tap dance her way through the lawsuit when it finally comes to trial.

Lastly, West closes the release with a quote from Robinson-Briggs saying that the county prosecutor 'found nothing criminal in my effort to establish a gang truce that ultimately saved lives'.

This, too, is not exactly a recitation of the facts. Prosecutor Romankow merely said that his office wouldn't seek to prosecute Mayor Robinson-Briggs. The mayor's attempt to portray the funding of the WBLS broadcast as part of establishing a gang truce completely ignores the fact that no such truce was discussed or contemplated at the time of the radio broadcast; in fact, nine months were to pass before the so-called truce, and at the time it was announced Mayor Robinson-Briggs appeared to have played no role in setting it up.
A PLATFORM FOR THE MAYOR?
Lastly, Mayor Robinson-Briggs continues to harp on her desire to use Council meetings as a place to showboat, saying 'I hope in the future the City Council will afford me the opportunity to be heard on matters of public importance'.

Mayor Robinson-Briggs is simply barking up the wrong tree.

The office of mayor provides her with a splendid bully pulpit to 'be heard on matters of public importance' -- she has at her disposal a website, a cable channel, the tool of press conferences and media advisories, and her appearances before groups throughout the city.

Council meetings are an inappropriate venue for Her Honor; they ought to be consumed with the Council's attending to the public's business and not to airy meringues of posturizing and self-aggrandizement by Mayor Robinson-Briggs.



Properties sheet for PDF document shows author and time of composition.


SRB Release CourtRulesOnCouncilFine 120626

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

8 comments:

Bob said...

This is Shady Sharonda at her best. She has learned her lessons from her teacher well. Bend the truth until it becomes an untruth and do it often. If she were a road, there would not be a straight line in it. I wonder how this will play before a judge. It will be nice to finally be rid of her at the next election.

Bob said...

I'm sorry for the people who work in city hall. We wonder why this ended up on the city site at all; it ended up there because of "I'm the f***ing mayor, that's why." Her royal pain the the butt thinks she's the queen, but she only rules over her fantasies.

CONCERNED DAVE said...

THIS SO SAD THAT ADULTS WOULD ACT SO CHILDISH WHEN THE CITY IS IN TROUBLE, WE NEED TO PUT OUR DIFFRENCES TO THE INSIDE OF A GARBAGE CAN AND GET THE CITY TOGETHER. HOW CAN WE SOLVE THE CITY"S PROBLEMS IF THE ONES WE PUT IN OFFICE ARE BEING PAID TO ACT IN SUCH A FASHION, AND I THOUGHT THE GANG PROBLEM WAS IN THE STREET " WRONG " ITS IN CITY HALL. PLEASE LETS STOP

Anonymous said...

This administration can be only cured in the Voting booth. We've not done a good job thus far with whom we select with a couple of exceptions.

CONFIDENTIALLY SPEAKING said...

Goshhhhhh!!! How much longer??? How much more of her???!!!

Anonymous said...

The PIO is relatively new to the city and doesn't know how this ruckus started or why it has continued so long. The mayor probably told him what to say, or he quoted her. He may have heard what happens to city employees who don't obey orders.

Keeping It Real said...

This woman is unbelievable.

She doesn't know what she's doing, with anything and she doesn't understand professionalism or protocol.

Oh were there a crane someone would drop over City Hall to have this woman yanked out of her seat and thrown into a dumpster, hauled away, never to be seen in these parts again!

Anonymous said...

The problem is -- the ghetto voters in this town love her.

She gives them hugs and food, tells them she cares.

Plus -- if you're on section 8, you don't have to worry about taxes and costs going up -- you get everything handed to you.